Constantin Pacea was born in 1957 in Bucharest, and was the son of the painter Ion Pacea and Lucretia Hagi, both of whom were of Megleno-Romanian origin. He was brought up mainly by his Italian maternal grandmother, Lucia Balamotti, and learned Italian as a child.
He grew up in his father’s studio, painting still lifes and landscapes and making charcoal reproductions of works by European masters such as El Greco, Vermeer and Degas. He also made copies of Greek and Egyptian sculptures. Despite such mimetic exercises, Pacea’s method is largely intuitive: “I never make any plan, anything premeditated. … I do not calculate anything, I let things develop, allowing them to emerge.”
After finishing high school in 1976, Pacea married fellow artist Florica Minea. Following his father’s advice to learn different techniques, he studied ‘monumental art’ at the Institute of Fine Arts in Bucharest. His study of anatomy led to a series of later paintings entitled ‘Bones’. His final graduation piece in 1981 was created alongside his wife.
He soon had solo exhibitions in Romania, Germany, France, Belgium, Austria, Spain, Sweden and the US. In 1983 he was invited to exhibit at the Raphael Gallery in Frankfurt and exhibited at Dusseldorf, Cologne, Aachen. Pacea and his wife were introduced to Peer Mattson, an important collector, who later offered them a study grant to spend the summer of 1984 in Sweden.
In 1985 he moved to Paris, and in 1989 discovered the Spanish village of Altea, where he set up a summer studio and began painting the landscape. After 1998, his focus for the next decade was on painting the surrounding islets; new themes then emerged in his work: ‘Gardens’, ‘Patios in Seville’, ‘Visum’.
His last exhibition was in 2014, a retrospective at the 'Museum of the Romanian Peasant' in Bucharest.
Entry authored by Dr Alex Popescu, 2016